/ 14.12.10 / 9 Comments / ,

Advent…A Time for Joy



Today is Tuesday Tea here at Comin’ Home…a good time to take a break from the busy rush of the holiday season..don’t you think? A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how to avoid stress during the holidays. One of the things I suggested was that you and your family take time once a week, to reflect on the reason for the season by celebrating Advent.

If you would like to join me for tea, just write a little post or link to one from last week, showing your tea cup or any pretty things from your home. The thumbnail linky tool is at the end of the post. I’d love to hear what’s on your heart this week. I’ll visit you and hope my readers will do the same. 

advent wreath


Advent can be as simple as reading a devotional one day a week on the true meaning of Christmas. Each week, people from many faiths, but especially Christians, take time on Sundays to meditate on a different theme…Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.  There are other themes you can use so, but these are the four most common ones.

nativity


When my children were young, we had a book written by a Catholic home school mother and we have used it for years. In it she wrote a little history of every symbol in Christmas and what it meant. She added little activities for you to do with your children. In it were songs, prayers, and bible readings. I love that book..but I have to admit that activities like.. “Make the sounds you would hear in the stable. Let’s hear what a cow sounds like”..are not really meaningful to my teenagers now.  So I went on a search for something to carry my children into adulthood.

christmas wreath

I found two great sources. One source from Church Year.net  explains the five candles, their symbolic meaning, and has four scripture passages related to the topic to read. That worked great for us since we have three kids at home. Tim read the first one and the teens read theirs. Then we all discuss how the passages relate to the theme for the week. The other source, from Ken Collins,  I loved because it was very simple and modern…but what I loved most was the everyday, down to earth prayers he wrote to go with the lighting of each candle.

DSC02218

Of course, the music, for a guitar playing mom like me was simple. For years, I’ve been playing Christmas hymns for church, hayrides, home group bible studies, nursing homes, etc. Most importantly, I’ve been playing for and with my children who all play the guitar now…many better than me. So I play a few related Christmas carols and the kids sing along. Since most of us love to sing we’ve gotten very good at harmonizing..and it does sound lovely. But it made me cry when they were little..and their sweet voices sang those hymns with all their heart. It was precious.
But to hear my teens, still singing those same carols, still grabbing their cups of coffee, tea, and cocoa, bibles in tow, and jokingly arguing over who gets to light the candles this week…well it’s more than precious…it’s priceless… a lost commodity among the hardened estranged relationships between teens and parents today.   It does, indeed, fill my heart with joy, to know that they are on the right path to a stable and happy future.

This week’s theme is Joy.  As we read these scriptures yesterday, we were reminded that just as God’s gift to us, his only son, brings us great joy... that we give that joy back to God..when we live out our lives in a way that brings glory to Him.

Directions
Light the 1st purple candle (repeat 1st week's prayer)
Light the 2nd purple candle (repeat 2nd week's prayer)
Light the rose candle

Scriptures:
Isaiah 9:6-7
John 1:19-34
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Philippians 2:1-11

Ken’s Prayer ~ Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who brings us great joy. We who have walked in the shadow of the valley of death have found life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


We sang Joy to the World…with full hearts yesterday afternoon…and were so glad that we took time to stop and reflect on the meaning of Christmas.  My friend, Maria Killam, did a wonderful post which she shared last week on Why Red and Green are the Colors of Christmas. It was a beautiful explanation of the symbols of Christmas with gorgeous photos. You should drop by and read it..it's lovely!

How about you? If you would like to share some of your holiday celebrations…decorations etc. and join me for Tuesday Tea, just link your to your post by clicking here. Mr. Linky will walk you through the steps and let you choose a photo from your blog. I look forward to visiting you too!



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9 comments:

Jill said...

This is a beautiful post Donna!
I love your new header, so pretty.
Have a wonderful day!
Blessings,
Jill

Rayanne said...

I too love your new look. Nice post.

Maria Killam said...

Donna, your photography is getting pretty darn great! (which as we are bloggers, really helps make your blog even better)! Thanks for linking to that post, those pictures really are amazing, I especially love the first one!
xo
Maria

Shona Cole said...

love the new look Donna, shame you will have to change that photo when Christmas is over. it matches your blog focus really well. I like the idea of this Tue tea, if I could stop for a minute to plan something I will join in, you know my girls would love it.

Donna said...

Shona, I did, in fact, think of that which is why the nav bar is not reddish. I have a non-Christmas version of the same header but with a gorgeous quilt and an antique sewing machine will be where the tree is now.

I can change the rest of my colors to match...in January. It will last all year.

You are right..it would have been a mistake if I hadn't thought about January. :o) I'm so glad you might be able to join Tuesday Tea!!

I would love to see the girls having a tea party. :o)

Needled Mom said...

I love your new header with that gorgeous quilt.

Your advent wreath looks so pretty. It is always fun to light the pink candle. Our children always being the one to light it the first time.

It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job enjoying the advent season for the reason it should be enjoyed.

Caroline said...

Thanks for sharing some of your christmas traditions. I hope as we grow as a family we will have more of these things... our traditions are very sparse.

Natasha said...

Wow, you have been busy while I have been on a vacation! Your new blog design looks gorgeous!

We went to Hong Kong for a week so I have just caught up on your news and read your previous posts. I haven't added a new post to my blog but I will definitely find something to add to your linky party and I will add a button to my sidebar about your Tuesday Tea party. When things slow down a bit next year I will definitely join in more regularly!

Best wishes always,
Natasha.

Trudy Callan said...

Wonderful post, Donna.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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